NHRC notice to UP government over use of patient’s severed leg as pillow

The National Human Rights Commission said it has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government after taking suo motu cognizance of media reports about a patient’s severed leg having been used as a pillow to prop him up at Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College in Jhansi.

lucknow Updated: Mar 13, 2018 15:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
NHRC,National Human Rights Commission,Uttar Pradesh
Ghanshyam is a cleaner of a school bus. The vehicle overturned as the driver tried to avoid a collision with a tractor-trolley. Nearly a dozen children were injured in the accident.(HT Photo)

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday said it has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government after taking suo motu cognizance of media reports about a patient’s severed leg having been used as a pillow to prop him up at Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College in Jhansi.

“It is hard to understand ... how a reasonable person could do such an unfair act,” the commission said.

The commission has asked the UP chief secretary to submit a detailed report in four weeks.

“Also, the union ministry of health and family welfare has been asked to submit a report, as to whether any instructions or guidelines on the subject have been issued to the doctors and hospitals, along with status of mechanism to monitor their implementation, across the country,” the NHRC said in a statement.

The medical college authorities have suspended two doctors and two staff nurses. The orthopaedic consultant at the trauma centre faces a departmental inquiry after the incident.

The patient Ghanshyam, 28, a cleaner in a school bus, had lost his leg in a road accident near Mauranipur, 65 km from Jhansi. When he was brought to trauma centre of the medical college, his severed leg was placed under his head instead of a pillow, which was not available.

Two inquiries, one by the medical college and the other by the district administration, are underway to determine the guilty.

“The incident demands not only fair investigation and action against the guilty public servants but also issuance of necessary directions and guidelines to all hospitals regarding strict compliance of standard norms for the disposal of bio-medical waste and amputated organs so that such incidents do not recur in future,” the commission said.

It has further observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, amount to “unethical and negligent act done by the doctors/ nurses, which is not only in violation of the medical norms, but also amounts to violation of the right to dignity of the patient, who was already undergoing trauma, due to the amputation of his leg.”

As per Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2016, the amputated leg of the patient should have been disposed off in the ‘yellow box’ meant for the amputated human organs. These rules were notified by the union ministry of environment, forest and climate change on March 28, 2016.

“Even if any medico-legal aspect was there in this case, it should have been immediately kept in the laboratory. The amputated leg, once detached from the body, could also be a reason for any kind of infection to the patient and others who were present in the hospital ward,” the commission added.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 15:55 IST